For Tome's 40th podcast we dig into the quiet and moving ambience of Christopher Whitely, Less Bells and Max Ananyev, dig deep within ourselves with a new track by WIZARD APPRENTICE, explore some incredible musicians coming out of Indonesia's experimental tape label Hasana Editions and hear new work from an old friend Babe, Terror.

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Christopher Whitley - "Deeper Sleeper" Heavy Sleepers (Patient Sounds, Intl.)

The San Francisco-now-Austin based violinist has created a beautifully processed, thoroughly thought through and composed cassette on Patient Sounds, Intl. "Deeper Sleeper" is a deeply moving, pulsing track that pushes mountains of digital air from noise-floor to cresting peak, creating stunning, beautifully augmented ascents and descents.

Less Bells - "Forest Ghosts" Solifuge (Kranky)

Julie Carpenter is from Joshua Tree, CA. From an album inspired by the location, one could expect a cold, austere soundscape seemingly created from and for the void of the desert. That would be playing into the stereotypes of desert life - which for all of its hardships - practically teems with all sorts of weird creatures. "Forest Ghosts" is busy. Full of lush, swelling cellos, various forms of percussion, plucked violin and an ear for the expansive, Solifuge is a perfect desert record. 

Yuto Ohashi - "Weltkarte" Juvenile - Insubstantial, re-present (Cudighi Records)

Yuto Ohashi's creates delicate melodies are perfect for those in-between hours of twilight and dawn where it feels like you are interacting with the world with oven mitts on. Simple, twinkling melodies are drawn from somewhere within that world. Nocturnal and vague, but just clear enough to make out their shape.

Anthené - "Reactionary" Reflections in Dust (Muzan Editions)

The meeting of Polar Seas Recordings currator Bradley Sean Alexander Deschamps and Muzan Editions seemed like an inevitability. Both labels are exceptional collectors and champions of modern ambient music with the ability to pull from the cream of the crop of collaborators that have staked a place well above the swelling morass of bandcamp wanks. Anthené's stately and chilly compositions are a testament to both parties deep listening and ear for the sublime.

Wizard Apprentice - "A Debt" I am Invisible (Ratskin Records)

On "A Debt" the Bay Area Digtial Folk-Musician offers a hymn for those who have hurt others and are grappling with accountability, personal growth at the expense of others' trauma and balancing the need for space and kindness to oneself. The deeply innovative artist's use of accessible technology to create genre-bending tracks that brim with thoughtful expression and reflection is a beacon of hope for the rest of us.

Nursalim Yadi Anugerah - "Tiling Mang "ii" Do" Selected Pieces from HNNUNG (Hasana Editions)

A totally unexpected email in my inbox was a door to an exciting world of Indonesian experimental music via the excellently curated tape label Hasana Editions. Selected Pieces from HNNUNG is described as "adapted from Kayaan people oral literature Takna’ Lawe’, HNNUNG is a chamber opera that amplifies the cosmic dramaturgy of Kayaan culture—in which the narrative of matriarchy is essential. HNNUNG the opera was performed by Balaan Tumaan Ensemble and Kerubim Choir using various instruments ranging from kaldii’ and sape’ to tenor saxophone and contrabass."

Julian Abraham Togar - "Acoustic Analog Digitally Composed (Percussion) 4" Acoustic Analog Digitally Composed (Hasana Editions) 

From Medan, Indonesia, Julian Abraham's composition Acoustic Analog Digitally Composed is described as, "Executed into two different materials: a various selection of percussion instruments that deliver organic impression, and a bunch of magnetic solenoids which construct a tighter mechanical sensation, Acoustic Analog Digitally Composed illustrates how simplicity (or complexity?) of repetition can trigger imaginative experiences in tracing the formal aspects of sound."

African Ghost Valley - "Campfires" UNT (Nullzone)

Collaborators Childle Graingier and Gabriel Ghebrezghi's lateset on Nullzone is a sweaty, humid curation of heavily pawed keyboards and thick, quick stabs of electronics pushing tonal extremes in multiple directions. The Canadian/European duo has been at this for sometime, perfecting their "in the room" closeness of recording.

Babe, Terror - "Computer" Fadechase Marathon 2018 (Glue Moon)

I am so happy to hear new work by the Brazlian artist Babe, Terror. Babe, Terror was a staple in my 2008-2012 weird early bandcamp/CD-R finds. Woozy, chopped and heavily edited compositions made up of piano loops, field recordings and wavy vocals. These hard restart edits on "Computer" make it a song that sounds like it is fading in and out of conciousness. Truly "a monument for people in need of a major trip."

Two Hands | One Engine - "Vainglorious" Dawning

Out of St. Louis, MO Two Hands | One Engine creates guitar compositions that straddle ambient long-players and disquieting soundscapes run through a bevy of pedals and arranged as decayed melodies and monuments to past selves. "Vainglorious" bends volume-swells and the decaying fabric of guitar's fidelity to tone around each other as a shawl warding off impending material coldness of death.

Max Ananyev - "Dew Empire" Water Atlas (Serein Records)

"Water Atlas". An interesting pairing of words from the St. Petersburg Russia based artist. Water is inherently transient. Constantly changing it's form, or flowing through time. "You can't stand in the same river twice". While an atlas is the collected wisdom of fixed points. It thrives off of replication and consistency. These two contradictions meet in Ananyev's structural underpinnings punctuated with the free-association of musical ideas and motifs that flow unaided. 

Maher Shalal Hash Baz / Little Wings - "Switch Back / Arco Iris" Split 12" (Moone Records)

What a brilliant pairing of two lifers who are still putting out completely engaging and prescient music. Two breezy, yet introspective session-type songs that pull together enough ennui and wonder to fill a dozen journal pages. A wonderful bandwith expanding exercise in nestling into sound.

Monday, September 17th, 2018 | Add New Comment (0)

Rhian Sheehan - "Soma Dreams" A Quiet Divide (Darla Records)

"Soma Dreams" is a stately and grandiose opening salvo from the New Zealand based artist's newest album A Quiet Divide. It is a slow-build to a quiet roar, blurring the already hazy demarcations between post-classical, electronic music and post-rock. Stirring melodies that start off as sketches become full-fleshed arrangements when joined by a string section, electronic percussion and gentle washes of synth. RIYL: Hammock, the Album Leaf, Haiku Salut.

Todd Tobias and Chloë March  -  "Ma Leila Lulla" Amialluma (Hidden Shoal)

One time Robert Pollard collaborator and Ohio-based soundscape designer of bright acoustic instrumentation and brooding, droning tones, Todd Tobias and UK vocalist/collaborator Chloë March pull down a sense of mysterious calm on their first single from their collaborative record. It's easy to imagine these tracks unfurling like morning fog across a heavily wooded valley. The uneasy drone and ebullient acoustic guitar settling in among the nestles and leaves of trees in that low place.

Torpa - "nostalgia phaze" nostalgia phaze

The UK-based duo's carefully crafted love-letter to their Kraut forebears is a beautiful, late night throb of a track. It builds and pulls itself apart, smears a gorgeous Stereolab synth line across a repeating melodic lines and crystalline sounds bleeding in from the periphery. 

fixture. "Meh" 

Buried acoustic guitars underneath skittering beats and pitch-shifted synth lines that unfurl and contract in time with the salty ocean's breath are just the appendages to the undergirding of this track. The moving spirit at the center of "meh" is a steady sinking into the floor after an all-input attack on the stimulus-response network. A rainy day, put this on repeat, shirking of all adult responsibilities. 

Our Fastest Typist - "Ctrl + Z" Group Therapy for Imaginary Monsters

When you are settling into sleep and are suddenly strapped to a chair a la A Clockwork Orange and forced to watch your Top 10 awkward moments, social failures and times when we really knew we should have shut the fuck up but kept talking anyway on a steady film loop, "Ctrl + Z" could be the soundtrack to that. "Ctrl + Z" is a fuzzed-out, overdriven bedroom-pop jam that enumerates the paralyzing ennui that accompanies forced public interaction in the whip-smart, keenly melodic vein of Car Seat Headrest and Guided by Voices.

Slow Glows - "Purple" 79 Moons (Rose Hill Records)

Each track on the Cincinnati-based Shoegaze band's EP exists in a self-contained universe of heavily augmented guitars, overdriven bass, distant cannon shot of percussion and the whisper-to-a-shout glossolalia of Kelli Redding's vocals. At every pass it gets easier to sink into the bathwater warm textures buried under blankets of reverb and to begin the subtle erasure between oneself and the sound. A soft, sluffing-off of a layer of awareness like pre-coffee mornings watching the gradations of changing light through bare trees. 

Monday, September 10th, 2018 | Add New Comment (0)

Remember to head on over to Tome to the Weather Machine's Patreon page for exclusive interviews with lot's of great experimental artists like the Messthetics and Autumn Pool as well as a super-secret mix and 50 % off this month's sponsoring label Oxtail Records

Nick Malkin - "Slow Day I" Slow Day on Brilliant Drive (Geographic North)

Nick Malkin (who also works under the name Afterhours and with LA Vampires) has created an endlessly listenable approach to ambient music that includes a full-band working through some of these gorgeous arrangements via piano, percussion, strings and textured drones with Malkin's heavy editing, cutting and pasting to create arrangements that that teeter between between beauty and unease. 

MAbh - "Narmer in Analogue" Cinjusti (Tymbal)

In one of the most immediately engaging ambient tapes of this year. MAbH is the UK based artist Peter Taylor. In a seemingly bottomless bag of tricks, Taylor pulls out all the stops to create an album of maximum beauty with minimal inputs. It's got everything: Disembodied Julianna Barwick vocals, disembodied percussion, bells ringing through a thousand empty rooms. Great find. 

German Army - "The Hindu Kush" Mangas Coloradas (Muzan Editions)

The ever prolific Germany Army have never sounded so...triumphant. Which is kind of a weird adjective to use next to an artist called German Army. But regardless, these syth lines are some of the most uplifting, celebratory and downright involuntarily smile-inducing sounds I've heard in quite awhile. Do yourself a favor and grip this before they are gone on Muzan Editions. 

UTON - "Aaivistas" PA-LUU VAl-OON (Nullzone)

Based out of Turku, Finland UTON's latest collection of massaged tonal passages under the influence of occult percussive techniques and gnostic revelations regarding the ritualistic unlocking of chemical combinations in the brain has found a natural home on Nullzone - another label showing amazing curatorial depth and vision.

More Eaze - "Pardon" a l4ngu4g3 (Tymbal Tapes)

How does one approach More Eaze's music? Seemingly resistant to classification as sounds whiplash in around each other creating boundless space where all sources are fair game and distinction between high and low brow art, musical vs. non-musical sounds are erased. Yet, at service to the superstructure of the composition, everything moves as it should, following a linear path to it's logical conclusion. Maybe it wasn't about the destination, but about all the friends we made along the way.

Sabriel's Orb - "Holding" Sabriel's Orb / John Atkinson split (Whited Sepulchre Records)

Willow Skye-Biggs has spent the last decade exploring the intersections of identity and ritual through her ambient, experimental and techno projects. Most notably, she created soaring, beat-oriented experimental-pop under the name Stag Hare and bedroom techhouse under the moniker ariel. For this latest project, Willow has taken on Sabriel's Orb to dress her pulsing longform ambient pieces with an audible glow that shines like a naked bulb under several thick blankets. Warm washes of synths float over these faintly surging arpeggios. It's worth losing an afternoon in.

AMULETs - "Illusions of Light" Future Fog (Muzan Editions)

AMULETS' Randall Taylor is a workhorse. Creating beautiful ambient passages out of an array of tape loops, pedals and guitar, Taylor's project has created a niche in the oversaturated market of longform ambient pieces by consistency of beautiful and understated work, engaging with other creatives through his tape loop workshops and videos his ability to wring out the fullest sound out of a decaying, warbled note. 

Grizzly Prospector - "iii" Garden Varieties (or songs for loren Connors)

In these hushed dedications to Loren Mazzacane Connor's indellible guitar work, the SLC-based musician has created an auditory passage into the sacred space that the airy, finger-picked conjur as soon as skin touches metal. It's a beautiful collection of reworkings, jumping off points and anchored movements.

The Green Kingdom - "Dorado" Seen and Unseen (Sound in Silence)

"Cottone skillfully blends together soothing electric guitar swells, lush textures of warm synth pads, rich harmonic drones and subtle glitches with acoustic elements of delicate piano, ringing acoustic guitar arpeggios, relaxed kalimba melodies and lightly strummed ukulele chords, resulting in one of his finest works to date." Sounding simiar to Eluvium at his most dreamy and sedated, The Green Kingdom has created an endlessly listenable record. 

Drowse & Jesse Keating "The Fog Storm Pt. I (Fog in Air)" The Fog Storm 

"This installation showcases four found objects that have been re-engineered into interactive sculptural instruments. The artists use these objects to create sounds and explore their natural surroundings. All music has been created by the artists and was recorded in Skagaströnd using the sculptures, a field recorder, and the computer. Video projections recorded while at living NES Artist Residency around certain regions of desolate Northern Iceland. Fog Storm plays with tangible and digital deconstruction of the natural world in the Anthropocene. "

Mamaleek - "Sicarii" Out of Time (The Flenser)

Mamaleek have created a mythos and mystique not only around who is in the band, but the seemingly endless canon of sounds they draw inspiration from. Turkish concerts, advertisements for long dead products, snippets of pop songs and a hand thoroughly around the throat of the most experimental and jarring aspects of heavy music. 

Friday, September 7th, 2018 | Add New Comment (0)

We are beyond thrilled to be involved with the Columbia Experimental Music Festival. I've been attending for the past 2 years and have always been impressed by the festival's thoughtful and adventerous curation and the small-knit and friendly creative community who put it together. This year the Tome has been a bit more active in helping curate and fund-raise for it. 

Friday 10.05 - Sunday 10.07

Purchase tickets here.

If you are not able to attend but would like to contribute to a wonderful festival happening on a total DIY budget - you can contribute here.

If you are a record label or business and would like to discuss sponsorship opportunities please email Ryan at tometotheweathermachine@gmail.com.

Here is the full line-up:

Hear in Now

Glenn Jones

ONO

Benoit Pioulard

Entrancer

Forest Management 

Eric Donte

Midwife

AMULETS

Mourning. [A] BLKstar

18andcounting

Scammers

Complainer

Joann McNeil

Alex Cunningham

Jennifer Simone

Oxherding

Devin Frank Vanishing Blues Band

Vulvette

It's Me: Ross

Lake Mary

Wednesday, September 5th, 2018 | Add New Comment (0)

Silica Angel – “Faustian Botany”

Evan-Daniel Rose-Gonzalez – experimental electronic artist and former student of Pauline Oliveros – takes the listener through a disjointed and fragmentary composition with sounds and ideas living next to each other like apartment dwellers in a large, rundown unit. While most of these sounds depend on interconnectivity – the bouncing and pinging of jarring percussion off of brilliantly mutated source material folded into an impossible origami of multi-dimensional sound – they also live quite independent lives. Existing by themselves in a great frieze of exploratory sound.

Dip Sound - "Mars"

Whenever I see the tag - chillout/ambient - this is what I expect. I expect to hear the hard kick muted and filtered through the thick walls of some 4am roped off upper club space, BPM slowed to a codeine crawl and ample waves of thick, syrupy synths overtaking the speakers like viscous liquid leaking through. And, praise be, that's what I got in this ambient/chillout track from the Turkish artist Dip Sound. Come take a peek. Vibe's right.

CEO Dreams - "Credits" Played out on Rooftops 

Imposing, silent, omniscient, phallic. Rooftops are both the setting and narrator for CEO Dreams latest collection of nocturnal downtempo electronic music. Inspired by the dominating position rooftops have in Hong Kong Cinema, CEO Dreams play out the soundtrack of the mundane and deviant acts that rooftops preside over as silent authorities. 

Minco Eggersman, Theodore Borger feat. Mathias Eick - "Hunt" Unifony 

The Dutch duo of Minco Eggersman and Theodore Borger create a lush, monochromatic environment of sparse percussion and resonant thick piano in which Norwegian trumpeter Mathias Eick's finds space to fill with his melodic, full-throated lines of exquisite mourning. An unexpected but necessary collaboration that bridges the gap between neoclassical and avante-garde jazz.

Walter Mmari - "Forgive Us" 

It's really wonderful to be exposed to such beautiful and restrained instrumental music from South Africa. Having made some very close friends there after living in Swaziland for two years, I often wondered where these artists were hiding given the rich and diverse musical output coming out of that country. Walter Mmari's track "Forgive Us" centers around a stereo-panned acoustic guitar melody that is joined by aching strings and shimmering synth chords. The track unfolds and winds a course that is inherently emotional in its narrative trajectory. Wonderful stuff. 

Miserable.Noise.Club - "Together + Never = Sleepless + Forever" Frost Confinement

The Charlottesville, NC based, internationally dispersed collaborative of miserable noise artists have created a track here that straddles the line between "miserable" and "noise" while creating something quite stirring without landing too far in either one of those camps. What starts off as a digitally manipulated sound of a timestretched truck's horn blaring underwater later tracks onto bowing tones of a harmonium and a plaintive guitar melody that emerge from below and ride that all-enveloping sine wave into a gorgeously manicured sunset. 

Psychic Rites - "Unwarranted Advice" Cult_Memo (Waxploitation) 

Dancing to our own demise, swallowing lukewarm beer at some basement living room show at a DIY space/irresponsible renter that won't exist in 2 months time well past the age when we should be settling into a career. What better way to dance towards a blackout then cranking up the doom to 11 to a coldwave track that feels just as wretched and detached from the swarm of 20-somethings around you. If it feels transitory it is. Until you ask the lifer  observing all of this from the back of the room. Psychic Rites wring every molecule of this kind of stubborn detachment from unfettered joy by repositioning this feeling as a vital act of survival. Dancing against the void.

Alonewolf - "Sentient Dreams" Dreamers 

Less lone-wolf of right wing propaganda, and rather a wolf, wandering alone in some dystopian, apocalyptic, post-cyber, post-civilization landscape perpetually Eastern Bloc grey. This is the soundtrack before the collapse. A synthwave rollercoaster of nostalgic hedonism. Aware that nothing can stop the collapse. We dance to stop from crying. 

Monday, September 3rd, 2018 | Add New Comment (0)

Helios – “Seeming” Veriditas (Ghostly Intl.)

On Keith Kenniff’s latest resurrection of his ambient project Helios – and first on Ghostly – Kenniff sends his lovingly constructed swelling tones arcing out into the ether. These melodic pulls have narrative arcs of their own, with all the building, reaching and dying that mirrors our own fate. Top-notch stuff here.

Alexandra Streliski – “Changing Winds” INSCAPE (Secret City)

As the seasons begin to change I am sure I will find myself drifting back to this gorgeous and melancholy slice of solo piano. The Montreal-based composer has crafted a vulnerable modern composition that hardly feels naked. While it’s melodies swirl there is a natural resonance that hangs in the air just a few enough to be perceptible after the fingers leave the keys, wrapping the whole arrangement in an audible glow.

Giuliano Poles – “Sharp” Gone ep

The second solo piano composition for this week. The Italian composer hangs quite a bit of weight on the deep counter-melodies of this contemplative piece. The melodies move as a single unit comprised of several pieces, like a super tanker cutting through the Mid-Atlantic.

Marcel Heah – “Versailles”

“Versailles” by Malaysian composer and pianist Marcel Heah is a cascading and inward-turning piece that is full of false summits and turns back on itself- an always present embodiment of where it’s been, where it is and the inevitable repetition of the pattern. The narrative arc that Heah has given this track is one of deep nostalgia – a protagonist replaying patterns in their life that continue to bear out in present day challenges.


Bels Lontano – “Orchard” Kin Decade

In a sunlit and ascending track, Bels Lontano, subverts the expected role of the bass line of an electronic song to the ever-locked in, train-to-euphoria to a chopped and difficult to pin down spectre that haunts this track. Transitory beauty abounds here. The one constant being however, a gorgeous pitch-shifted melodic line that floats and hangs in the air above the busy percussion work and floating synths.

Stayhomie – “Happy Today, Sad Tomorrow” year of no answers (ezhevika)

Russian electronic artist, Stayhomie, has created a beautiful patchwork of pitch-shifted vocal samples over drifting synths and skittering drum patterns from a Roland 808. Matching the mellowhigh of an golden afternoon of late summer, this track is an immediately transporting vessel to some place more instagrammable than where you are right now.

Eugenius - "Obsolete" Of Age (Self-Released)

On his latest album, Cincinnati-based artist Eugenius offers up hymns of disenfranchisement from an adulthood nailed to a cross. A feeling that at this point, those shaky pangs of having too much to say and an omnivorous listening habit that pulls you in so many directions will ever go away. For Eugenius, these questions fuel some of the most mentally excoriating, ego-laid-bare lines on album that faces down those questions with some resolution. We aren't 21 anymore. No time left to wallow in the romance of unanswered questions. Eugenius finds answers in the satisfying crack of a bat against the bricks of systemic oppression, the head of a local-area rapist gone free and, conversely but just as importantly, the companionship of 10 years of marriage. This is called adulting. 

Deru – “Torn in Two” Torn in Two (Friends of Friends)

The first single off of Deru’s new album Torn in Two is a terrifying and cleansing piece of work that builds and expands on the tension between violence and beauty on Benjamin Wynn’s 2014 masterpiece 1979. Tonal shifts recorded from brass and woodwind instruments are processed and turned into truly menacing sounds that sound impossibly huge. A bleak soundscape, a beating heart and the bleeding edge between terror and wonder.

Ian Battenfield Headley – “Passage #2”

Stereophonic field recordings are arranged in ways that don’t necessarily lend themselves to narrative analysis, but are also curiously placed enough to beg the question. Trains, church organs, processed rain sounds and metal-on-metal are woven together to create a symphony of disconnected but unified sounds.

Monday, August 27th, 2018 | Add New Comment (0)

On this latest episode of the Tome to the Weather Machine Podcast we dig deep into two collaborative projects with individuals with M. first names, some beautiful ambient/field recordings by John Atkinson, bonkers future music by woopheadclrms and 21st Century Wolf, RIPPING free-jazz by Barker Trio and scary industrial punk from Denver's Echo Beds. 

Big news! Tome to the Weather Machine has a Patreon page! You can become a patron and get exclusive interviews (this month with Autumn Pool and Brendan Canty & Joe Lally from Fugazi/The Messthetics), a super-secret mix from Oxtail Recordings and 50% off of all of Oxtail records! Plus, if you sign up for the top-tier you will be added to the pre-order list for Whited Sepulchre Records new cassette by John Atkinson and Sabriel's Orb

Do it!

Also, we are on I-tunes!

m. crook + oxherding - "soft moon" soft moon (distant bloom)

There are a lot of reasons to be excited about this tape. First, is it brings together two Midwestern droners who send their ambient soundscapes across the wide misery of Missouri through a gradual enveloping cumulus take-over of a humid afternoon. Matthew Crook (of Nevada Greene and the Columbia Experimental Music Festival) and Fitz Hartwig (Oxherding) have spent the last few years digging out niches in their respective cities (Columbia and St. Louis) where thoughtful, placid sounds - thick with resonance and shimmering swells - are able to root themselves. Second, it is the first tape on Hartwig's new label Distant Bloom which has already put out one of my favorite releases of this year

Lake Mary & M. Sage - "Boat Prow Cub" Lupine Deluxe (Patient Sounds, Intl.)

In the second of Lycanthian themed releases by Lake Mary (CoMo) and Matthew Sage (Chicago and Patient Sounds CEO) meet together in a basement armed with guitars, harmonium and keyboard and search the dusty corners of their musical and shared geogpraphical  histories to conjur passages evocative of the American West in both the steel-jawed, finger-picked guitar lines and the swirling, limitless keyboard sounds that conjur a limitless horizon of the mind. False horizons on the frontier of human expansion.

John Atkinson - "First Rain of the New Year" John Atkinson / Sabriel's Orb (Whited Sepulchre Records)

John Atkinson (formerly of Aa) is putting out his first proper new music in quite some time. It is a meditative suite of ambient passages and field recordings taken from his new home in Melbourne, Australia. These elipitcal passages explore a broad range of tonal frequencies sourced both from the natural environment and his recording equipment. Atkinson shares the split with Sabriel's Orb - a new project by Willow Skye-Biggs FKA Stag Hare

Hibernis - "Hibernis Bells" So What (Serein Records)

A brilliant trip through a modular synth wonderland with augmented vocals haunting in from some purer and weirder dimension than ours. Comprised of John Hughes and Lindsay Anderson, the duo create a liminal space between human tinkering and machine learning. A labrynth burned into our brains.  

woopheadclrms - "Fill" vs o.t.O.g.l. (Genot Centre)

After putting out one of last year's densest, smartest and funniest records the artist known as woopheadclrms returns to form with their latest on Genot Centre. A busy, violent and often moving and beautiful journey through non-linear and unreliable narration with enough internally logical but non-sensible twists and turns to garner comparisons as the Plunderphonics' House of Leaves. It's music that is impossible to take in in a sitting. Enjoyable and occasionally disturbing auditory easter eggs abound.

Sungod - "Birth & Speed Merging" Wave Refraction (Holodeck)

While much of Sungod's excellent new album on Holodeck careens through a familiar bevy of arp-led kraut-jazz longplayers like a highway straight into the cornea of the sun. On "Birth and Speed Merging" we get to eavesdrop on a conversation between husband and wife Michael C. Sharp on drums and Kristine Reaume on flute, this sort of musical conversing can only happen between two individuals deeply entrenched in each others' worlds. It's an impressive cut and one that highlights the level of musicianship at work throughout the album. 

Barker Trio - "Ageist" Avert Your I (Astral Spirits)

Buh-roooooo. This new Barker Trio album RIPS! Comprised of power-trio Andrew Barker, Michael Foster and Tim Dahl. "Ageist" completely melts the face off of anything within a mile radius of it. When it hits its stride with Dahl's deeply distorted bass, Foster's upper-register shred and Barker's use of every available square inch of solid surface it is heavier than most things you could consider "discordant" or "free" while still maintaining a cohesive, rhythmic center that holds tight to the wild energies contained within.

Echo Beds - "Buried Language" Buried Language (The Flenser)

So happy to see these people land on their feet after being swept into the hang-a-closed-sign-on-the-universe deletion of Rhinoceropolis in Denver, CO. With a triumphant "what up world" release on The Flenser, the Denver duo take their rhythm-heavy, dystopic industrial punk to a wider audience. Infecting more an dmore with the radical notions of anything/all is sound and anything/all is fragile and will break and decay.

21st Century Wolf - "City" City Zen (Genot Centre)

As a comedown and prelude to the coda, this new tape off from the mysterious 21st Century Wolf on Genot Centre is a worthy contender to their stunning Gen Nova on Noumenal Loom it's a walk through of a future spa. A combination of 90's pastels and half-columns with the ridgeless fluidity of A.I's imagined alien future.

Lake Mary - "Goya" Koda (Eilean Records)

It's hard to describe why I love this opening song to Lake Mary's second release for Eilean Records so much. With all of the heroic phrasings and virtousity Chaz Prymek has brought to the acoustic guitar (and Koda is full of those) Goya is a relatively simple and muted opening salvo that utilizes the human voice - a rarity in Lake Mary recordings. But there it is. A beautiful babbling brook. Eventually it will become a mighty river. But right now it's chill being small.

Monday, August 20th, 2018 | Add New Comment (0)

Mari Sainio "mountains" 

The Finnish composer Mari Sainio exists between worlds of grand pulls of orchestrated movements for piano and string and electronic compositions that create rich soundscapes that these compositions are bound to as companions. It's not surprising that Sainio has a foot in the composition world for film and television. Her songs seem to inherently track some quiet revelation about one's life - with or without visual accompaniment.

jesse woolston - "what once was" variations vol.1 

Our second track shared by Jesse Woolston is a haunting, tension-filled passage for organ, voice and strings. Grandiose blasts of organ punctuate the cicada buzzing of strings and disembodied vocals that create a nervous noise-floor. Organ lines punch through like a fist through balsa wood - although a much softer analogy probably exists. It's a track to be listened to at full volume - the cathedral thrum of the organ passing straight through your solar plexus. I also love this song because the waveform allows you to track this song without ever listening to a note.

Aquartos - "Sanctum"

Hailing from Ufa, Russia this lite-ambient take on what can be considered muzak - the way that Ulrich Schnauss is often lumped into that category - defies that easy lumping by delivering on some truly unexpected auditory treats that appear in lo-fi hard-panned pluck of an acoustic guitar seemingly dropped in the middle of the mix at the perfect time and multiple strands of concurrent tonal shaping and contouring happening at all times. It's a nice way to spend seven minutes working on a task requiring a fair amount of concentration and need for embellishment.  

Dreissk - "Open Spaces" Threshold (N5md)

Cruising into the open apocalypse with this bruising dark-ambient track by Dreissk. It's hard to imagine a better soundscape to exploring abandoned digital worlds - a job that Dreissk tackles in his other job of soundtracking video games. For this EP for n5md the Seattle based artist rides the edge of swelling, ominous tones, skittering industrial percussion and a sick sense of unease and dread that is difficult to shake.

Pander Sera - "Reset" Bothy

An intensely rhythmic pooling of condensed bursts of brightly colored hypnagogic pop existing in a parallel universe where bands like Aa and Fuck Buttons sold out arenas and pushed the excesses of Kraut-infused psych into the psyches of pre-teens before they tried acid for the first time. The track opens up into a dizzying and expansive birds eye view of Pander Sera's fractured musical selves merging into a single destiny transcending time and space.

Pardans - "burning house bedding"  spit and image (tambourhincerous)

Hoooly shit. These are the Danish No-Wave, Jazz-Punk saviors we've been waiting for. Formed by members of Iceage and Marching Church, this Copenhagen based quintet is all spit and viscera. Blackened eyes and James Chance contortions over a low-end rumble of a baritone sax being played out of a bleeding bass amp. Bad drugs. Bad scene. Everyone's fault. Buy this.

interlingua - "chaleyso" interlingua (villa)

Interlingua is an archaic and process-based project by Italian composer and ritualistic sound researcher Francesco Venturi. With his Interlingua project Francesco goes deep into some liminal space-time through the repetition of occult percussion and pulling sounds out of the electronic ether through analog signal processing. Those low-end rumbles and far-away drones conjure something probably best left sleeping. 

The Death Particle - "In the Empty Lungs of Dying Suns" Tangent Universe EP

Structured like particles around an atom, the players on The Death Particle are woven into and the outward expression of Harold P. Cattie's distinct musical vision. Part post-rock, part jazz ensemble, part eye-of-the-needle-threading neo-classical actualization. Hailing from North Wales, these session players weave a narrative yarn soundtracking the birth and death of a tangent universe burning out in the empty infinite space between star systems. It's a complex and compelling piece highlighting a locked in group and grand sonic architecture. 

Friday, August 17th, 2018 | Add New Comment (0)

Dean Valentine "A Thin Place" Ventricular Beats

Valentine is an in demand composer for films. His work has appeared in major Hollywood films like Dunkirk, Interstellar and The Martian. For "A Thin Place", Valentine zooms in from wide-screen grand gestures to focus on tension-release of this stirring electro-acoustic track. Focused on the piano's natural and augmented reverb, "A Thin Place" builds gradually to several points of natural tension and ebbing release. Recorded while working on the film "Tiger Raid" these moments of constricting and expanding shift our focus from the micro to macro in a seamless flow.

Neil Athale "This is Home" Oscillate EP

A moving composition that hangs on the delicate interplay between guitar and piano melodies that are braided together over swelling strings and electronic harmonics. Athale has created a momentary respite from encroaching life demands. These little acts of grace add up over time. 

Alessandro Paganelli "Cosmos" Nebula

A stirring neo-classical track from German composer Alessandro Paganelli's upcoming album Nebula out on 08.24. The track moves from grace to grace, weaving strings and piano around each other like a spinning loom. It's easy to get swept up in the grandeur, tension and resolution of this stately composition. 

Mending "Alan at Emma's Cradle" We Gathered at Wake Robin Hollow

Think of the EP We Gathered at Wake Robin Hollow: Chapter 1 as the introduction to the drone-folk equivalent of In Search of Lost Time. Mending will release a 40-hour, 40-song cycle released between the months of August 2018-December 2019. Think of Mending as a cross between Riceboy Sleeps, Hem and Marcel Proust. Gorgeous piano melodies and aching drones underscore a sweeping family drama that starts here. In Odena. We will check back in frequently.

Un.a "Aggregate" 

UN.a is a dizzyingly complex and precise Japanese duo that create tailspinning, twisting and turning neo-classical compositions that race through beautiful fragments only to stop on a dime and launch us head first into a dexterous run that leaves us out of breath and anticipating the next tempo change or complete stylistic front-flip.

Horthy Kristof "Disorder"

Heavily pawed synths and pitch-shifting drones punctuate this gorgeous track by the Hungarian experimental artist. There is a constant sense of motion that pulls this track through the needles eye of warbled, augmented ether-reality. It's a sun-warped VHS tape played backwards through a staticy TV in a stuffy house. 

 

summhow "carne" Crash_Reports (n5md)

A highly engaging mix of cracked, crashed electronics falling over each other like a drum machine pushed down the stairs with surging ambient tones filling in the middle-frequencies until they gather like the inky green clouds before a tornado and over take the entire track. The swirling arpeggios picking up whatever is not bolted down. Tie your belt to the radiator. It's the big one. 

Submotile "Tailspin"

I love this classic shoegaze track from the Irish band Submotile. A wonderful throwback to Ride and early Place to Bury Strangers. It's a fist-in-the-air, both feet crushing pedals type of anthem that buries itself under the weight of its own input. This isn't a sleight. The best shoegaze has strong enough melodies that are only just barely able to peek through the sheer miasma of sound being pushed from every conceivable inch of space.

 

Esbie Fonte "Pico & Westwood" 

Lost love lives without memories of narrative arc. It is less well-worn VHS copy of a romantic comedy burned into our brains from watching it 12 times in a row, but rather a disjointed flash of non-sequiturs that signified high endorphin rushes our body gets from experiencing novelty. Cooking dinner in tiny apartment kitchens. Dancing in alley ways. Falling asleep passenger side on long car drives. Esbie Fonte captures the way recall these fragmented scenes perfectly in her new shoegazey pop-song.

Caesar Nixon "Spaceman" Bliss (self-released)

I remember picking up Bright Eyes Collection of Songs and on the CD is this negative review of the album where the writer wondered how many of these bedroom recordings existed in the world, where when feeling sad, hopeful or distressed were dashed off after listening to Violent Femmes or Elliott Smith. We are in a completely new era where "bedroom" recordings can mean professional sounding EDM. Caesar Nixon's song "Spaceman" retains the true spirit of the bedroom recording. Hushed as if trying not to disturb housemates, audible hiss from a 4-track and still a song composed while feeling sad, hopeful and distressed. This time with a whole decade of Midwestern emo washout and revival influencing the recordings. Beautiful stuff. 

foxhole "noble scales" well kept thing  (Burnt Toast VInyl)

Louisville 90's post-hardcore was identifiable as it was hard to pin down. Somewhere between sheer brawny muscle of bands like Evergreen and Crane and the brainy and frustrated Rodan and Squirrel Bait came a distinctive sound that became a spiritual cousin to Chicago's bleaker and more eggheaded misanthropic post-punk and post-rock. The memory Jason Noble, who this track is named after, has his mitts all over this track by the Bowling Green revivalists, Foxhole. It's a heady, mathy and ultimately fist-in-the-air triumphant ode to a spirit that defined a time and place. 

Friday, August 10th, 2018 | Add New Comment (0)

In this podcast we move from pastoral folk and drone, to music concrete, to experimental dives into metal, industrial and end on some beautiful Czech hip-hop. It's a trip.

 

 

Clara Engel – “My Whole Life Too” Eleven Passages (Polar Seas Recordings)

Clara Engel returns to Polar Seas Recordings with eleven works for solo guitar. These songs follow Loren Connor’s legacy of pulling in resonance from a relatively limited resources, seemingly gathering lush overtones and swirling drones from the heavy moisture of morning humidity. In fact, like Loren Connors this is a perfect morning record – lucid-dreamstate lingering, pre-coffee ritual for tired adults.

Curt Oren – “Of Course / I Will Protect You” For Sam, Forever Ago (Already Dead Records)

I don’t think I was quite prepared for the emotional impact this record would have on me. This record, and more explicitly, “I Will Protect You” was written for Curt’s companion Sam, his family’s dog that passed away two years ago. It’s within this premise, a totemizing of the pure and good companionship of a dog, that Oren is able to make sense of and process the violence of common existence and the uncommon ramping up of attacks on the unfulfilled promises of protected civil liberties. So, hug your pups if you have them.

Casino vs. Japan "Marching into the Blinding Sun" Suicide by Sun (Self-Released)

Erik Kowalski has been producing music under the name Casino vs. Japan for 20 years. In those 20 years CvsJ's output has mutated and shifted by release, but for his fans (this one included) his power lies in creating narcotic drifts of reverbed-out guitar tones ducking in and out of waves of soft drones like a gull hunting fish. These short songs aren't fragments, rather they are moments when ideas are struck, rec. goes red and these structures spill out of Kowalski's guitar and pedal arrangement.

Kenji Kihara – “Nagi” Scenes of Scapes (Inner Islands)

Based out of Horiuchi, Japan, Kenji Kihara’s compositions are built upon the relationship he has with the mountains and wooded landscapes surrounding Horiuchi. Moving from deep listening to the sounds that create this ambient noise floor to a conversation between them and Kihari’s affecting synthesizer work, “Nagi” is embedded with the sounds of a give-and-take, between human and non-human sounds. A perfect summer evening listen.

North Atlantic Drift – “Formations” Departures Vol 2 (Sound in Silence)

The second volume of the Toronto-based duo composed of Brad Deschamps and Mike Abercrombie critically acclaimed “Departure” series finds the revisiting familiar ground – weaving rhythmic drones through gradually shifting tonal structures to create sonic architecture that bends and sways with every current. A towering obelisk of song swaying against a greyed coast.

Sound Awakener "In the Garden" Monochrome (Elm Records)

Inspired by a series of black and white photographs, Sound Awakener aka Nhung Nguyen from Hanoi, Vietnam, transcribed each photos visual presence into 4 highly expressionistic pieces built from highly augmented and manipulated field recordings. Her droning sounds hang in the air like thick humidity right after a rainstorm. Omnipresent yet so full of life.  

Kee Avil "thinkstill" Kee Avil EP (Black Bough Records)

Kee Avil's experimentation with extended technique, elastic voice,  flurry of pedals and improvised guitar passages are put to the service of creating an incredibly exciting and challenging form of experimental pop that corral all of these ideas into a three song EP that covers a large amount of ground. It's pop if you squint your ears just enough. It's thoroughly experimental and one of the most original voices I've heard in quite some time. 

Charles Barabe "Mouvement IV" De la fragilite (Astral Spirits Records)

Representing a new leaf in Barabe's towering discography of cassette releases. These new "mouvements" are exciting compositions that flit and occupy, stand still and hit warp all within the same breath. Music Concrete, modern composition and electro-acoustic call-and-response are all at play here in what will be seen as an important move in Barabe's contributions to modern experimental music. 

Marcia Custer "Brad's Ghost" Stacey's Spacey (Unifactor Tapes)

"Presented as a flowing narrative that encompasses everything from bursts of throbbing industrial grit to a cheery, chipmunk-toned conversation with a personified keyboard named Barb La Croix, Stacey’s Spacey shines with Marcia Custer’s unquestionable magnetism as a vocalist, her sublime timing as a comedian, and her wild tonal sensibilities as a noise head."

obnox "Gotta keep fighting" templo del sonido (astral spirits)

What possessed Astral Spirits to approach Bim Thomas to do a "free-jazz" record must have been some courageous trickster spirit with a keen sense for subversion. Obnox's free-jazz contribution to Astral Spirts shining oeuvre is something to behold. References to Albert Ayler, Archie Shepp and Sightings are all appropriate touchstones here. It's a beautiful, confounding, accusatory but ultimately hopeful piece of work.

Mukqs "Ramel Cycle" Slug Net (Unifactor Tapes)

Maxwell Allison of Good Willsmith's "Ramel Cycle" is a work out of rock and metal instrumentation ran through a self-aware blender. The track, which belies any sense of rhythmic track, still moves through power-chords, riffs, fills with a movement guided by an internal GPS that may look like its twitching alone in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, but instead is showing us a new portal to Atlantis. That's Mukqs.

Hate Colours "Know Nothing" Know Nothing (armellodie)

The Berlin-based industrial/noise group known as Hate Colours create a disquieting, stuttering blend of Throbbing Gristle, NIN and Aaron Dilloway. It's a completely disorienting trip through disturbing wrong turns into killing fields and possessed towns. If you are or were a fan of any of those groups this group should scratch an itch you didn't realize you had. 

Lashes "want/need" sub (Self-Released)

Comprised of Cincinnati artists Marisa Sermet (Lipstick Fiction) and Patrick Apfelbeck (Hissing Tiles, Butt) Lashes is an uncompromisingly heavy sludge-fest of super downtuned bass, rattling low-end, mic'd snare hits and uncontested rage. Lashes picks up on the promise of bands like Drose, The Melvins and Battle of Mice to create a menacing palate of true-gloom. Death to all false gloom. 

Lisaj "Roudno" Mezina (Genot Centre)

We end with some incredibly lush, lo-fi hip-hop from the Czech Republic. Lisaj's new tape on Prague's Genot Centre cements the label as one of the most well-curated and forward thinking labels in the game. Starting with aviary field samples, the slight groove becomes more deeply etched as it accumulates more and more sound. Ambient passages assemble on top of each other until Lisaj's understated flow cuts through. Perfectly crafted mood music. 

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018 | Add New Comment (0)